Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will invest more than $14.3 million in settlement services in the Prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba (IRCC).
Ottawa published a request for bids for the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) and case management services in August of last year. The federal government then chose 14 initiatives in the Prairies to provide extra services to refugees and other vulnerable arrivals.
Ottawa stated on Thursday that the investments will total more than $10.1 million and will be used to expand case management services in 11 areas in both English and French. This is to provide vulnerable arrivals with assistance and recommendations so that they can successfully integrate into their new communities.
The new monies also include more than $4.2 million for the addition of three new service providers to the RAP in Fort McMurray, Grand Prairie, and Winkler, Alberta, and Winkler, Manitoba. According to Canadian immigration officials, these organisations are “critical to improving access to support services for refugees in smaller and rural communities, as well as providing immigrants with the tools needed for long-term success in the years ahead.”
Canada is optimistic about immigration, aiming for a record-breaking number of new permanent residents over the next three years. According to the immigration levels plan published earlier this year by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, Canada aims to welcome 431,645 permanent residents this year, 447,055 next year, and 451,000 in 2024.
“We’re focused on economic recovery, and immigration is critical to getting there,” Fraser added.
“Bold new immigration targets, as established in the Levels Plan for 2022-2024, will help bring the immeasurable contribution of immigrants to our communities and across all sectors of the economy even further.”
According to IRCC data, immigration to Alberta surged last year, reaching 40,040 new permanent residents. That’s nearly double the 22,955 new permanent residents who arrived in 2020, but it’s still a little less than the 43,690 new permanent residents who arrived in 2019, the previous full year before COVID-19. In Saskatchewan, immigration increased slightly last year, reaching 10,955 new permanent residents from 7,400 in 2020, although it still fell 30.9 percent short of the 15,855 new permanent residents in 2019.
Manitoba experienced a similar bounce, welcoming 16,585 new permanent residents last year, nearly double the 8,630 in 2020 but still down roughly 12.3% from the 18,910 new permanent residents who arrived in 2019.
“For many years, newcomers and refugees have been a driving force in Canada’s society and economy.” “Our country has a strong tradition of being an international leader in resettlement and integration,” said Marie-France Lalonde, Canada’s immigration minister’s parliamentary secretary.
“This success would not have been possible without the critical settlement service organisations that assist newcomers in learning Canada’s official languages, finding jobs, and building successful lives in their new communities.”
The RAP provides assistance to government-assisted refugees and other qualifying clients upon arrival in all provinces other than Quebec. The programme provides direct financial assistance to newcomers and pays service provider organisations that provide immediate and critical services. This financial assistance includes a one-time start-up allowance as well as monthly income for up to a year. RAP service provider organisations give assistance to immigrants within six weeks of their arrival in Canada.
Prairie provincial administrations share this passion for immigration. Saskatchewan presented its Labour Mobility and Fair Registration Practices Act earlier this month in an effort to increase its population to 1.4 million in the next eight years, up from approximately 1.18 million presently. This legislation is also predicted to contribute to the creation of 100,000 jobs over the same time period.
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